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May 21, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

What is a worldview and why is it important?

“Ideally, a worldview is a well-reasoned framework of beliefs and convictions that help us see the big picture, give a true and united perspective on the meaning of human existence. “

He continues:

“Alternatively, we could say that our worldview is the story we tall to answer questions like these: Why is there anything at all?  How can we know for sure?  How did we get here, and what are we here for, anyway?  Why have things gone so badly wrong?  Is there any hope of fixing them?  What should I do with my life?  And where will it all end?”

Philip Ryken continues:

“Not all worldview are equally systemic or equally comprehensive…but whether we realize it or not, all of us have basic beliefs about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.  This is unavoidable.  Even people who never stop to think about their worldview in any self-reflective way nevertheless live on the basis of their tacit worldview.  This is so basic to who we are that usually we hardly even notice our worldview but simply take it for granted.  Sometimes a worldview is compared to a pair of spectacles, but, to use another optic metaphor, maybe our eyes themselves would be a better analogy.  When was the last time you noticed that you were seeing?  We rarely think about seeing; we just see, and we are seeing all the time.”

(Philip Graham Ryken, Christian Worldviews: A Student Guide)

This sets the stage for this insight from David Foster Wallace:

Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship… is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough… Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you… Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is… they’re unconscious. They are default settings

(Emily Bobrow, “David Foster Wallace, in His Own Words,” taken from his 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College, http:// story/ david-foster-wallace-in-his-own-words; accessed January 4, 2012).

You can read the full David Foster Wallace speech here.

This James W. Sire article on the 7 Questions Every Worldview Must Answer, may be helpful as well.


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